Diet and exercise goals always rank high on New Year’s Resolution lists, but rising food prices and the uncertain state of post-holiday bank accounts leave many to wonder if they can afford to make resolutions this year, let alone stick to them. So if you or a loved one has diabetes, or is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, how can you afford a healthy lifestyle in 2012?
A common misconception with New Year’s resolutions is that improving health and wellness requires a financial investment, such as a gym membership or a new meal plan. It may be very easy to think ‘Why bother making New Year’s resolutions?’ especially in this current economy. But simple — and inexpensive — lifestyle changes can make a big impact in preventing diabetes-related complications and improving health and wellness to prevent disease.
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people. Weight gain is a major risk factor for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes need to work toward achieving a healthy weight to prevent deadly diabetes complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
The American Diabetes Association offers cost-saving tips to help you adhere to your New Year’s Resolutions:
- Investing your time wisely: Invest 15 minutes a week to plan your grocery shopping and menus. Studies show you pay more at the store when you are not organized. When planning for the week, also invest time for physical activity.
- Eating with the seasons: Fresh produce purchased out of season is more expensive. Winter offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, citrus fruits, squash, carrots, and broccoli. If you crave summer produce, buy frozen or canned varieties.
- Embrace leftovers: Instead of making one large chicken casserole to last the week, turn the chicken into two or three meals. You will waste less food and enjoy dinnertime more.
- Small steps. Big rewards.: Going gung-ho on resolutions can make you spend more money and lead to quicker burn out. Set smaller, attainable goals for your nutrition and physical activity resolutions. Eat an extra serving of vegetables three times a week or take a ten-minute walk during your day.
One free tool the American Diabetes Association offers that can help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions is MyFoodAdvisor: Recipes for Healthy Living. This new online resource provides you with new recipes, cooking tips, and a meal plan each month. Registration is free and you’ll have access to exclusive recipes and meal plans. Check it out here.